In the good old days, a house was generally synonymous with "cash cow," a rapidly appreciating investment that all but guaranteed a comfortable retirement and paid for college tuition and vacations along the way. Those days of quick appreciation are gone, say economists, and have been replaced by a new reality in which housing value keep up with inflation—and that's it.
“People shouldn’t look at a home as a way to make money because it won’t," says the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who estimates it will take 20 years to recoup the $6 trillion of housing wealth that has been lost in the last 5 years. But in an annual survey that polls homeowners near SF, LA, Boston, and Milwaukee, many said they believed prices would rise 10% a year for the next decade, reports the New York Times. “People think it’s a law of nature,” said the economist behind the survey.